One week into the NFL season, it feels like the New York Jets are facing a must-win scenario when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Ahead of the Jets-Browns game, we’ll be making our Jets Week 2 predictions.
Coach Robert Saleh, who has staunchly defended his team throughout the week after their 24-9 season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens, said Friday that he feels an urgency to win every game. The implication is that this one against the Browns does not carry extra urgency because the Jets can’t afford an 0-2 start, especially with such a daunting first-half schedule.
Even with quarterback Zach Wilson still sidelined following knee surgery, this is a game the Jets can win. But it’s going to take a much more disciplined effort than what they showed last week.
That said, let’s move on to our Jets Week 2 predictions.
4. Jets will be praising coach Robert Saleh after the game
Win or lose, Jets players will be praising Saleh postgame Sunday. If they win, his comments earlier in the week will be viewed as an inspiration within the locker room. If they lose, the coach will be appreciated for having their backs.
Saleh’s comments about “taking receipts” from critics and insisting “this is not the same old Jets” have already fired up his players. Safety Will Parks told the New York Post, “It motivated the sh** out of us.”
The Jets are going to be extra motivated and will play with more juice Sunday. That will show up more on the offensive side of the ball, where quarterback Joe Flacco said that the group lacked a sense of urgency at times in the loss to the Ravens.
3. Michael Carter and Breece Hall will combine for 130 yards rushing
The two young running backs rushed for 83 yards against the Ravens and combined for a 67.6 grade in the running game per Pro Football Focus. That they only had three carries in the second half when the Jets turned exclusively to the pass trying to play catch up, makes their numbers more impressive.
Carter had two long runs, including a 19-yard burst on the Jets' first offensive play of the season. He finished with 60 yards on 10 carries. Hall had a 14-yard run and finished with 23 yards rushing.
#Jets Week 1 RB usage
– Michael Carter: 60% snaps, 10 carries, 9 targets (100 yards)
– Breece Hall: 46% snaps, 6 carries, team high 10 targets 👀 (61 yds)
We saw the Jets backup QBs pepper the RBs with targets last year and again today
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) September 11, 2022
The Jets will pound the ball on the ground to keep Cleveland’s terrific pass rush, led by Myles Garrett, from swarming Flacco. Carter and Hall will have success behind an evolving offensive line and rush for 130 yards. Figure Carter to have roughly 80 and Hall in the 50 range.
2. Myles Garrett will get two sacks for the Browns
Garrett had two sacks in Cleveland’s Week 1 win against the Carolina Panthers. And he’ll get another two Sunday against the Jets.
Myles Garrett in Week 1:
🟤 94.4 PFF grade (1st)
🟠 94.5 pass rush grade (1st)
🟤 2.0 sacks
🟠 6 pressures (2nd)
🟤 28.6% pass rush win rate (2nd)
DEFINITION OF UNBLOCKABLE 🗣 pic.twitter.com/p92F5Cwpbv
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) September 12, 2022
Garrett is too good, left tackle George Fant is struggling too much and Flacco is too immobile for the Browns stud edge rusher not to get his share of pressures and sacks. That’s why the Jets need to run, run, run and run some more against the Browns. There’s no way they can throw the ball 59 times like they did in Week 1 and not expect Garrett to dominate the game.
As Saleh said Friday, “The good Lord was on his A-Game when he built Myles.”
1. The Jets will defeat the Browns in Week 2
The Jets have not won a September game since 2018 and their 13-game losing streak in the month tied an NFL record. The streak will be broken, though, this week when the Jets defeat the Browns.
It’s not going to be easy. But the Jets' defense will lead the way and the offense will do just enough to pull out a win. Look for the Jets D to do a respectable job against the excellent Browns run game and force quarterback Jacoby Brissett into some big mistakes. Brissett is the weakest link for the Browns, so exploiting that will be key for the Jets.
Greg Zuerlein will bounce back from a rough Jets debut last week and kick three field goals to help the Jets defeat the Browns 23-17.